The Eustachian tube is a normal part of the middle ear. It connects the chamber of the middle ear to the nasopharynx, which is basically the back of the throat.
The purpose of the tube is to normalize pressure in the ears, such as when flying or diving.
This tube is necessary because the middle ear is filled with air but is not in contact with the outside air like the outer part of the ear.
The resting position of the Eustachian tube is closed but it opens during swallowing. It also gapes open during changes in surrounding pressure.
If you have felt your “ears pop” when you take off or land in an airplane, you can thank your Eustachian tube for functioning properly to regulate the pressure in your middle ear.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.